It seems to me...

It seems to me that there is a disconnect between what is happening in society and what leadership is actually exercised in society. This past week, there was a horrible murder in Sweden where a man with a sword went into a grade school and killed children and a teaching assistant. The murder was racially motivated, and has gained international notoriety.

It's also sparked a mild domestic debate about whether racism is systemic in our society, and whether this murder can really be seen as an isolated event committed by a single lost soul.

On the other hand, it's less than a week ago that a leading Swedish publication called the European Court of Justice "privacy huggers" who "kidnap the EU" - without further notice. We're not really in a good time for protecting the human rights of everyone politically - freedom of speech, privacy, the right to vote and many other rights fundamental to a democratic state of law are persistently put into question by leading political figures.

It seems to me, that if political leaders and thought leaders in societies are not able to follow the ideal that human rights are important, why would we believe that people in general would follow those ideals?

It can be argued that it's different to take someone's life with a sword, from surveilling them or curtailing their abilities to, let's say, publish a blogpost. It would be correct that the right to life might be seen as even more fundamental than many of our other fundamental rights in democratic societies and up until now, politically mandated restrictions on our fundamental rights and freedoms have been limited to restricting and violating those rights that are not the right to life.

Still, it seems to me, that leadership is a more abstract thing than that it can be isolated to individual rights at individual times. The leadership in human rights issues is not made strong merely by the fact that political leaders and thought leaders so far have not killed anyone with a sword. The leadership in human rights issues is weak by the fact that political leaders and thought leaders carelessly dismiss fundamental human rights in a range of different circumstances, and the population at large has started doing so as well.

So that's what it seems like to me.


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